Jean-Christophe Cloutier received his Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, an M.A. from SUNY Buffalo, and a B.A. in Liberal Arts and English from Concordia University, Montréal, in his native Québec (Canada). At Columbia, he also worked as an archivist in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library where, among other collections, he processed the papers of Samuel Roth, Erica Jong, and former publisher of Grove Press, Barney Rosset. He is currently completing a book on midcentury African American novelists and literary papers.
His first book, La vie est d'hommage (Éditions du Boréal, 2016), is a comprehensive edition of Jack Kerouac's original French writings. His translations into English of Kerouac's two French novellas, "Sur le chemin" [On the Road: Old Bull in the Bowery] and "La nuit est ma femme" [The Night is My Woman], as well as his extended Translator's Introduction, appear in the Library of America volume The Unknown Kerouac: Rare, Unpublished, & Newly Translated Writings (2016) edited by Todd Tietchen.
His work is also featured in the catalogue, Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in Harlem, published by Steidl in collaboration with The Gordon Parks Foundation and The Art Institute of Chicago. This catalogue accompanies a photography exhibition at the AIC that was held from May 21 to August 28, 2016, and for which Cloutier acted as consultant and contributor.
Cloutier's second book is a scholarly edition of Claude McKay's Amiable with Big Teeth: A Novel of the Love Affair Between the Communists and the Poor Black Sheep of Harlem (2017, paperback 2018), a previously unknown novel by Claude McKay composed in 1941. Edited in collaboration with Brent Hayes Edwards, the Penguin Classics edition provides extensive historical contextualization of the novel's composition, and a discussion of its implications for our understanding of McKay's late career.
In addition to abiding interests in translation, narrative medicine, aging, and science fiction, his teaching and research fall largely within 20th Century and contemporary American literature, and also involve popular culture, notably comics and cinema. Here at Penn, he regularly teaches the graphic novel and has been co-teaching, with cartoonist extraordinaire Rob Berry, a creative writing seminar on “Making Comics.” See: https://makingcomicsatupenn.wordpress.com
His essays, reviews, and translations have been published in Modernism/Modernity, NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, Cinema Journal, Public Books, The Capilano Review, Critical Survey of Graphic Novels: Heroes & Superheroes, A Time for the Humanities, UMBR(a), Transmission II, and others.